It’s Pride Month here in the UK – a time to celebrate and raise awareness for the experiences of those who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ Community. 🌈 It’s also when corporations put rainbows on everything and think that’s enough to convince you you’re an ally. Here at Waypoint Books, we actively recommend LGBT+, BIPOC and Disability Rep books all year round. And because we like to be extra, we’ve got a collection of recommendations for each identity.
This is a list of Ace and Aro books, with themes, characters and conversations about the Ace and Aro experience. But if you think we’ve missed an important Ace or Aro Rep book, make sure to comment or message us!
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Whilst Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a romance with a het-relationship, there is an underrated Ace character who arrives near the end of the first book and then become my absolute hero in the two following sequels. And fundamentally, this series is magical. Starting in Prague, but travelling the worlds and other planes of existence, Karou is an artist raised by monsters. She sees a beauty and magic in the world, speaks many languages and goes on weird errands for her foster father. Then one day, she’s locked out of her home, fearing it may be destroyed forever. And locked away memories demand rememberance and revenge.
Ace Voices by Eris Young
Drawing upon interviews with a wide range of people across the asexual spectrum, Ace Voices is here to take you on an empowering, enriching journey through the rich multitudes of asexual life. With chapters spanning everything from dating, relationships and sex, to mental and emotional health, family, community and joy, the inspirational stories and personal experiences within these pages speak to aces living and loving in unique ways. Find support amongst the diverse narratives of aces sex-repulsed and sex-favourable, alongside voices exploring what it means to be black and ace, to be queer and ace, or ace and multi-partnered – and use it as a springboard for your own ace growth.
Loveless by Alice Oseman
Shocking no one, Loveless is on this list: Alice Oseman is one of the most prolific LGBT writers of our generation, and it’s because their writing is STUNNING whether they’re talking about Gay, Sapphic or Ace relationships. Heartstopper brought Graphic Novels and Manga into the mainstream, and Loveless is usually top of every Ace list (sorry to put it 3rd, this isn’t done in any particular order). Smoothly defining the difference between Aromance and Asexuality, this book follows Georgia as they transition from school to university, ready to have the romance they’ve read about in Fanfiction. When it doesn’t seem to be happening, they’re confronted with new questions about their identity that the audience will find relatable and charming – no matter your sexuality.
Radio Silence by Alice Oseman
Another Alice Oseman book? Don’t mind if we do. Radio Silence is actually an older release than Loveless, and deals with additional themes of trust/betrayal and diversity. In this, Frances has a secret, but she isn’t going to let it get in the way of who she’s going to be. But, when her new friend, Aled, breaks her trust, that narrow path she’s defined for herself becomes trickier to navigate. Perfect for fans of well crafter contemporaries, but are looking for an authentic take on the teenage experience. Great dialogue, pacing and intrigue.
Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko
Raybearer follows Tarisai, who has always longed for a family, but she was raised in isolation by a mysterious (and often absent) mother known as The Lady – and The Lady has sent Tariasi to the capital to compete with the other children chosen to be one of the Crown Prince’s Council. If picked, Tarisai will be joined to the other council members through the Ray, a bond deeper than blood. The familial bond she’s been searching for is within her grasp, but The Lady has other, much darker plans… I really enjoyed the fact that, because our main character is Ace – so Raybearer manages to completely swerve those overdone romantice cliches you might find in other YA fantasies. With the addition of other LGBT reps, BIPOC Own Voices and fantastic imagery, Raybearer is one to pick up soon, because Redemptor is already out.
Ace: What Sexuality Reveals About Desire, Society and the Meaning of Sex by Angela Chen
. Ace: What Sexuality Reveals is the interesting deep dive into the lesser spoken about sexuality we’ve been looking for. Journalist Angela Chen uses her own journey of self-discovery as an asexual person to unpretentiously educate and vulnerably connect with readers, effortlessly weaving analysis of sexuality and societally imposed norms with interviews of Ace people. Among those included are the woman who had blood tests done because she was convinced that “not wanting sex” was a sign of serious illness, and the man who grew up in an evangelical household and did everything “right,” only to realize after marriage that his experience of sexuality had never been the same as that of others. Also represented are disabled aces, aces of color, non-gender-conforming aces questioning whether their asexuality is a reaction against stereotypes, and aces who don’t want romantic relationships asking how our society can make room for them.
Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger
Imagine an America very similar to our own. It’s got homework, best friends, and pistachio ice cream. There are some differences. This America has been shaped dramatically by the magic, monsters, knowledge, and legends of its peoples, those Indigenous and those not. Elatsoe lives in this slightly stranger America. She can raise the ghosts of dead animals, a skill passed down through generations of her Lipan Apache family. Her beloved cousin has just been murdered in a town that wants no prying eyes. But she is going to do more than pry. The picture-perfect facade of Willowbee masks gruesome secrets, and Elatsoe will rely on her wits, skills, and friends to tear off the mask and protect her family.
Amazing Ace, Awesome Aro by Victoria Barron
From the creator of Perfectly An Illustrated Introduction, this bold and brilliantly illustrated guide is written for anyone looking to explore the beautiful ace and aro communities; the acefluxes, the arospikes, the demis, the greys, the frays and more. Separate the myths and stereotypes, and discover some of the wonderful intricacies that shape each spectrum, forms of love and attraction, common identities, microlabels, flags, and the entertaining community-led culture. Packed with quizzes, activity sheets and a directory of further resources, this is a celebration of all things ace and aro!
Sounds Fake But Okay by Sarah Costello and Kayla Kaszyca
Somehow, over time, we forgot that the rituals behind dating and sex were constructs made up by human beings and eventually, they became hard and fast rules that society imposed on us all. True Love. Third Wheels. Dick pics. ‘Dying alone’. Who decided this was normal?
Sounds Fake But Okay invites you to put on your purple aspec glasses – and rethink everything you thought you knew about society, friendship, sex, romance and more.
Drawing on their personal stories, and those of aspec friends all over the world, prepare to explore your microlabels, investigate different models of partnership, delve into the intersection of gender norms and compulsory sexuality and reconsider the meaning of sex – when allosexual attraction is out of the equation.